Moving to a new country, away from your culture, can be a daunting prospect, and infiltrating a community there, even more of a challenge. As one of the only Brits living in my little town in southern Spain, I know this from experience. Here are my tips:
Spanish is a hard mistress but alas, your first, unavoidable, step. You will spend hours bashing verb conjugations into your slowly imploding brain and it will be painful.
A common mistake people make on their arrival to strange lands is to head for the nearest Irish pub. Some smoky bacon crisps and a pint of lager while soaking up the familiar homely lilt of the barman is enough to warm the cockles of even the hardiest expat.
It’s a little known fact here in Spain that doctors will make three appointments at the same time, just to ensure someone turns up. To say that Spaniards take a relaxed approach to timetabling, would be an understatement.
The concept of family is infinitely more tangible in Spain than most places and this can take some getting used to, particularly if you have a Spanish partner. Grown-up children still go to eat at the mother’s every lunch time and it’s not at all uncommon for four generations to live under one roof.
Any possessiveness I might have felt about food in the past has quickly dissipated since living here. When going out for tapas with a group of Spaniards, each throws their two-cents worth in and a mish-mash of stuff gets ordered.
Like Jesus, Spaniards understand the importance of wine. They are justifiably proud of the Riojas and Riberas produced by their vines, unashamedly drink loads of it and scoff at the UK recommended daily intake scaremongering.
If you are after a pint of milk between 2 and 5pm, forget it. Most Spanish towns are deserted during these hours with shops shut up and blinds down. The siesta is so firmly entrenched in the Spanish way of life that you may as well join the club because, let’s face it, there’s not a lot else to do.
Life in Spain can be great. This is why we are among the top 3 most visited countries every year. We are also one of the most welcoming one; 12% of the population is from abroad. To give you an example, around 375,000 British, almost 200,000 Germans and 175,000 Italians live in Spain.
There are many reasons why our visitors think Spain is one of the best places to live. I have summarized some of them. If you live in Spain and can think of additional reasons, let me know.
One reason why holidays in Spain are so popular is because of the country’s spectacular weather. It is very probable that during your holiday to Spain you will enjoy a spring climate. Actually, the Spanish Mediterranean and the South have the best climate in Europe.
You have surely heard of the benefits of the Spanish diet (also known as Mediterranean diet). It is based on olive oil, fresh fruits, fish, vegetables and even wine. You read it right, experts recommend drinking a glass of wine every day.
While you are here, enjoy our popular tapas as you refresh yourself with some sangria. Or you might try some jamon and a delicious gazpacho in a bar off the beaten track.
Spain is incredibly diverse. We like to say that we have several countries in one as we have beautiful beaches to relax and amazing mountains to practice trekking and ski. We even have 3 national languages apart from Spanish (Catalan, Gallego and Basque).
This diversity is not only visible in the landscape and the weather, people are also quite different too. You’ll notice that the accent is softer in the south. In the north people are a little bit shyer and they speak less (well, less compared to the Spanish average!).
We spend a lot more time outside than at home. We are lucky enough to have a great climate that allows us to spend most of our free time outdoors. We love to socialize in a bar or a restaurant and yes, food is very important in our culture!
And even if the weather is not so good, you should go to the north. People go out no matter if it rains, there is a storm or wind… I’ve experienced it myself…
Did you know that Spanish is the 2nd most spoken language in the world as a mother tongue (first being Chinese Mandarin)? And that it is the 2nd most studied language after English? In fact, it is spoken by around 500 million people.
If you are looking to learn Spanish, living here will give you the chance to interact with native speakers and sign up for a Spanish language course. Of course, you can always try to study it online but coming over will be much more fun. You will discover a unique country with a very special culture.
Spain has been conquered by Romans, Barbarian tribes, Moors (almost 8 centuries!) and even French. Our culture is the result of a curious mixture between all of them. You will see the influence of these cultures in our language, mainly based on ancient Latin but with many Arab words
architecture, as you can see it in Italica or the Alcazar in Seville
food in which our most important ingredient is olive oil
You can visit museums, castles, palaces and enjoy the amazing legacy we have inherited during centuries.
There is something that makes Spaniards unique: our schedule. We tend to live our normal life a little bit later than in the rest of Europe. Especially when it comes to meals, do not expect to have lunch before 14:00 and dinner before 21:00 (sometimes even 22:00 in summer).
We are generally described as nice and funny. Warm and welcoming, we have a very strong sense of family and we tend to gather often to share a meal. We also have an incredible sense of humor and we tend to laugh (too much) at ourselves.
Of course, the stereotype is that Spain is a laid-back place where no one works very hard and the pace is slow. As it happens, you’ll find all kinds of people.
And knowing that during the summer temperatures can reach up to 40ºC (104ºF), it seems pretty normal that your body rhythm slows down. Siestas are common (especially for children) just to avoid the hottest part of the day. Anyway, I have always worked during the summer (I like to take my holidays during the low season) and a lot of people don’t take a siesta!
Different types of Bracelets and their details you should know
The first question comes from the beginners is what are distance bracelets? The distance bracelet is a paracord braided closed by a stainless steel shackle or a plastic clip clasp. This bracelet is as beautiful as a great use in survival or during outdoor activities such as explodes or camp.
This bracelet is ideal for campers, hikers, sportsmen, soldiers, hunters, fishermen and also any self-respecting scout!
Pleasant to wear, this survival bracelet will be your ideal partner in all emergencies. For example imagine yourself exploring in the forest when suddenly your lace breaks! Thanks to your bracelet, you have a spare lash on you! A tent tension that has disappeared, a bag strap that lets go it can be used for everything! Once undone, you will always have the rope available on you and will be able to use between 2 and 4 meters of useful rope ultra solid and flexible (length depending on the model of bracelet and your wrist turn).
It is made of Paracord 550: it is a lightweight, robust and elastic stranded nylon rope, originally used for American parachute hangers during the Second World War. She is able to withstand 250 kg load!!
Price level, a plastic clasp costs between 0.20$ and 0.30$, a stainless steel shack about 2$ and the paracord costs about 0.25$ the meter for the cheapest, which makes this bracelet very affordable, useful and fun!! It takes about 12 cm of rope for 1 cm of final bracelet.
Finally the most important: braiding technique:
This node (COBRA node) is one of the most basic, it will take no more than 10 minutes to complete, which is useful to quickly redo it once loosed:
Presentation of the survival bracelet
In the movies or through the shows dedicated to our soldiers, you could not help but notice the bracelet they had on the handles. Know that it’s not just a decoration bracelet. This is the survival bracelet, also called commando bracelet.
A multi-purpose commando bracelet
It is not about any rope since the survival bracelet is made with special parachute ropes. Its solidity is therefore foolproof. The supported load is 250kg. It can easily support the weight of 2 medium-sized adult men hanging in the air.
The length of the survival bracelet’s rope averages 3 m, which allows it to hang from a tree, from a high rock to abseil. With a survival bracelet, you can build a makeshift hut without having to search for creepers.
Among the possible uses, this bracelet paracord can also be used as links to build a raft, to make a spear to hunt or defend you. The survival bracelet is very useful as a survival weapon. In short, this rope truly ensures your survival in a hostile environment.
A bracelet with specific braiding
Braiding this paracord should not be done anyhow. The rope must be small enough to be worn like a bracelet. The braid must especially be easily defeated to allow you to react quickly.
Choose your survival bracelet
Present in all shops dedicated to survivals, the choice of the survival bracelet deserves special attention. First, make sure that the rope used is certified and that it is a parachute rope. There are indeed rope bracelets made with other kinds of rope, less solid and less effective.
Accessories also vary. Some military bracelets are equipped with whistles, always useful when you get lost to signal your position. You can also hang any kind of useful gadgets on your survival bracelet. Finally, the mode of closure can be important. Some models are closed only with the rope.
Tip: The total length of the rope is also of paramount importance, some models offering a rope well below 3 m. In order to increase the usefulness of the survival bracelet, prefer a model with closure by mountaineer loop, very useful in many circumstances.